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Don Lanphere - Year 'Round Christmas (1999)

3-12-2015, 23:20
Music | Jazz

Title: Year 'Round Christmas
Year Of Release: 1999
Label: Origin Records
Genre: Jazz, Xmas
Quality: 320 kbps
Total Time: 68:41
Total Size: 159 MB

1. Overture (1:00)
2. Jingle Bells (6:33)
3. Cradle In Bethlehem (3:33)
4. Silver Bells (6:35)
5. The Christmas Song (4:32)
6. Mary's Little Boy Child (4:45)
7. I'll Be Home For Christmas (4:20)
8. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (6:47)
9. Deck The Hall (6:09)
10. O Come, O Come Emmanuel (6:47)
11. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (5:33)
12. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (5:09)
13. O Holy Night (2:01)
14. Let It Snow, Let It Snow (4:49)

Too often, jazz Christmas albums come off sounding less than improvisational, nearly approaching the easy listening albums of the world. Try playing something with a long and cherished history and form, and too much improvisation seems almost blasphemous. Hence, many artists shy away from too much destruction of the Christmas classics. Here, the great saxman Don Lanphere tinkers with a series of classics, in tandem with an outstanding band, and deconstructs them to their most elemental. These classics almost get lost -- somewhere behind the spurts of collective improvisation, exploratory scale searching, and avant-garde drum solos, you suddenly realize that you're listening to "Silver Bells." Here's the trick, though: where others shy away from such improvisation and tenderly stroke the classics in their usual form, Lanphere arranges these such that the pieces come across as pure jazz numbers that happen to be built on the chord changes of the classics. Not Christmas songs played in a jazz format, but pure jazz, with an underlying Christmas mood or undefinable something to it. With players of the caliber they've got here, it makes for an outstanding, refreshing Christmas album -- strong improvisation, excellent soloing all around, and just a hint of the holidays to keep the ambience where it's supposed to be. ~by Adam Greenberg

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